A momentous chapter in Germany’s industrial past will finally be brought to a close in December of this year when coal mining finally comes to an end after a history dating back some 200 years. This will be a watershed moment for the country at large and the coalfield communities – and perhaps most of all for RAG and its workforce. Since its founding fifty years ago the company has had countless challenges to face, with the socially-responsible rundown of the mining industry probable being the hardest of all. It was a task that the management team completed successfully: the agreed production targets were achieved without fuss or quibble and the industry showed unfailing commitment in its contribution to national energy security.
Our mineworkers have proved their skills time and time again under the most difficult of circumstances. The geological conditions present in Germany’s coalfields have forced the continued development of technical equipment and organisational methods. These advances were not entirely attributable to the increasing depth of the mine workings, circumstances that placed extreme demands on men and machinery and created unrelenting cost pressures. Over the years the growing awareness of the need to protect man and the environment has also helped establish significant technical and organisational improvements within the coal industry, particular in its underground operations.
It was for this very reason that the Mining Report Glückauf reached the logical conclusion that by creating a partnership with the mining section of the International Social Security Association – ISSA Mining – it could provide a regular platform in each issue for highlighting the national and international efforts being made in the field of occupational health and safety. In our view this work is a crucial factor in developing a modern and sustainable mining industry.
Over its lifetime the Mining Report Glückauf has supported these endeavours and has served as a communication platform for sharing ideas on technical developments and progress achieved. The close ties that developed over the years between the magazine and the German mining sector meant that the coal industry always featured large in the journal’s content. And finally, in line with matters of topical interest to RAG there has also been a regular stream of papers dealing with the post-mining theme. This has inevitably become a subject of increasing relevance for the coalfield communities and will be one of RAG’s central tasks from 2019 on. In view of the challenges that lie ahead for RAG there is therefore every prospect that this close partnership will continue along successful lines in the coming years, though with a somewhat different focus.
The pool of topics is unlikely to run dry.
Chairman of the Executive Board
RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen